St. Petersburg Times
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Americans begin to see terror war successes

©Associated Press
April 15, 2003

WASHINGTON -- With the military successes in Iraq comes a belief that the United States may finally be winning the war against terrorism -- the first time a majority of Americans believe this, according to a CBS News-New York Times poll released Monday.

Some 62 percent of Americans say the war against terrorism is being won by the United States and its allies, up from 45 percent in a March 3 poll.

The poll also found more now favor U.S. intervention in cases like Iraq than they did at the end of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Forty-eight percent think the United States should stay out of other countries, but 29 percent think it ought to try to change a dictatorship to a democracy where it can.

In 1991, a majority preferred the United States stay out of other countries' affairs, and only 17 percent supported U.S. intervention.

The threat from North Korea is the most real to Americans, with 39 percent fearing it as posing a serious threat to the United States, followed by China (6 percent), Iraq (5 percent), Syria (5 percent), and no country -- getting 24 percent of the vote.

Fifty-three percent of Americans now believe Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, unchanged from the beginning of this month. This is somewhat higher than before the start of the war in Iraq, when 45 percent thought Hussein had personal involvement in the attack.

The poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 898 adults, interviewed by telephone April 11-13. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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